Yoga innovator’s death ruled a fentanyl overdose

Times Colonist Staff


The death of Pender Island, B.C.-based yoga innovator and instructor Michael Jason Stone has been confirmed as an accidental fentanyl overdose.

Stone, 42, was found unconscious in his vehicle in Victoria by police on July 14, 2017, after he had been reported missing.

Michael Stone, 42, was a celebrated author and teacher of meditation and yoga from Pender Island. He died in Victoria on July 16.

Multiple doses of naloxone were administered by paramedics on the scene, but he remained unconscious upon arrival at Royal Jubilee Hospital, coroner Timothy Wiles wrote in his report made public Monday.

A drug screen confirmed the presence of fentanyl. A police search of Stone’s vehicle turned up “a white powder substance, plastic baggies commonly associated with illicit substance use and a rolled bill,” the coroner’s report says.

Stone was pronounced brain dead at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Wiles said the cause of death was “acute fentanyl toxicity.”

While Stone had a past medical history including bi-polar disorder and had been trialed on several different medications to stabilize his mood, there was no documented history of problematic substance use or opioid dependence, Wiles said.

He classified Stone’s death as accidental.

Stone held workshops and retreats related to yoga, meditation, mindfulness, intimacy, inequality and Buddhism across Canada and around the world. He founded Toronto’s Centre of Gravity in 2003 and authored several books.

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